The Tip Jar Effect

The Tip Jar EffectRemember the Seinfeld episode where George goes to give the guy a tip at the pizza place, but the guy doesn’t see him put it in the jar and he tries to reach in and take his money back?

It’s funny because most of us can relate to it (well, hopefully not the part about reaching back into the jar!). If we’re being totally honest, when most of us give someone a tip we want them to see us doing it. We want them to feel like they’re getting hooked up and a part of us wants to be acknowledged for making a contribution. Read more…

Are You an Artist or Just Someone Who Plays Music?

Many of us use the term ‘independent artist’ or ‘recording artist’ to describe ourselves, but are we really artists, or are we just people who play music?

To answer that question we need to decide what it means to be an artist. Many of us grew up in an environment where we were only taught what art means at a superficial level. Maybe our first definition of an artist was someone who was really good at making realistic paintings or drawings or maybe someone who made weird abstract creations that were supposedly only understood by special people. Read more…

Combining Forces = WINNING!

Combining ForcesBeing an independent artist doesn’t mean you need to take the word ‘Independent’ too literally. Chances are, you’re missing big opportunities to take your career to new levels if you’re not actively looking for chances to join forces with other artists and industry pros. A piece of something big is worth a lot more than all of little or nothing. If you feel like you’re bashing your head against the wall trying to get people to your shows or to buy your music on your own then changing your approach can make all the difference in the world. Read more…

The Album Release Schedule Is Back!

CD Baby and IndieGuide.com have put together a very interesting and helpful album release schedule – updated for 2011.

Back in the late-90s at Sony Music Entertainment, we had these incredibly detailed setup schedules for albums. That included everything from getting artwork approvals, passing elements to distribution, setting up artist interviews, the works.

Read more…

Join us at the New Music Seminar – February 14-16

New Music SeminarAre you looking to get signed as an artist? Come see the Presidents of the Indies and Major Labels explain how! Are you looking to make more money as an artist, manager, label or agent? See the 22 18-minute presentations from the CEOs of the top companies explain how! Visit one on one with 24 mentors at the NMS Mentoring Sessions or the Songwriting, Voice and Producer’ Workshops, and find for your next business partner. Then network with over 80 of the top CEO’s and others speaking over 3 nights and 2 days at the New Music Seminar in Los Angeles February 14-16. Read more…

Top 5 Music Business Mistakes of 2010

I’ve never been one for top 5 or top 10 lists, but I have seen these mistakes so many times in the past year, I figured they needed to be documented. #1 Waiting. You may want to reconsider. With replication costs low and mailings that can be made for little more than the cost of a stamp, putting your message on disc may be the smartest way to tell your company’s story and interest new and existing customers in your latest offer. Read more…

DVDs for B2B – Six reasons DVDs work for business communication

Enamored with the notion of hosting your presentations and technical information exclusively on the Web? You may want to reconsider. With replication costs low and mailings that can be made for little more than the cost of a stamp, putting your message on disc may be the smartest way to tell your company’s story and interest new and existing customers in your latest offer. Read more…

Licensing Your Music Ain’t Easy – Be Cool

I recently had lunch with the founder and CEO of a popular website for independent artists. It was great to catch up and hear about all the exciting things going on with the site. On the other hand it was a bit of a concern hearing about some of what he and his staff have had to put up with recently in dealing with some of the more, shall we say, frustrated and/or unstable musicians that use his services. Read more…

Quincy Jones’ tools for success

My daddy used to say to my brother, Lloyd, and me, “Once a task is just begun, never leave it ’til it’s done. Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.” Every day he said that. That has stuck with me through everything I’ve done.

There’s nothing in the world worse than having an opportunity that you’re not prepared for. Good luck usually follows the collision of opportunity and preparation – it’s a result of that collision. Read more…

Music Marketing 2.0: The Digital Brand Manifesto

Every artist needs a fully customized DIGITAL BRAND to succeed. Proper branding requires the following:

  1. A unique web domain separate from an artist profile on the record label website. The artist’s website functions as the central web hub for that artist’s digital brand.
  2. A simplified e-commerce system on the artist website. Easy check-out store supporting various forms of payment (PayPal, credit, debit, etc).

Read more…

Progress vs. Perfection

About 8 years ago I used to smoke two packs of Marlboro Red cigarettes a day. It was hard for me to imagine what it would really take to quit. I tried to kick the habit cold turkey a few times and it just made me want to crawl out of my skin. Then I heard about the patch and decided to give it a try.

I put it on one morning and made it until about 10PM before I ripped it off and started smoking. The fact that I don’t smoke today has a lot to do with how I chose to look at what happened that day. Read more…